Taking a break out of that stuffy little office chair can be an awesome idea. More specifically, if you have a camping trip or a hike planned for the weekend. And because the week has been so long and your back needs to get rest time, buying the best camping mattress for the bad back would be the absolute stunner.
It would be the perfect buy as such mattresses are often designed to make sure that you get to sleep comfortably, regardless of the type of area, terrain, or level on which your camping mattress has been set upon.
In fact, some of these mattresses come in a modern inflatable and raised design that is easy to use and which will give you the thrill. So how do you choose the best camping mattress?
Check Out Our Top 10 Picks of Best Camping Mattress Pad
10 Best Camping Mattress Reviews
It must serve its primary purpose, i.e., provide comfort for a long time. Here are the reviews of some of the best available out there in the market. Let us look into their best features, the good, and the bad.
1. Sleepingo Camping Sleeping Pad
Now, the general requirements for any sleeping pad, especially one to be used for camping are: must be $100 or less, the bottom should not give out, small and light enough to be packed into a bag, and durable enough that we are not forced to sleep on the cold and the damp.
The sleeping bad arrived promptly, and after unboxing it, our first thought was that it was light. Too light. It was very thin, not something that you would expect to last very long. The fabric had to be this thin in order to make the bag light and easily manageable.
Seemingly not a very good trade-off, but the material of the fabric was very tough and durable. They included an inflation hole. It has a simple design. And it has a rubber flap that the air pressure from the mattress keeps in place with a plug. It took us about 8 breaths of air to completely fill it.
Being so thin and light, this particular sleeping bag is obviously not a showstopper when it comes to its R-value (a measure of insulation). The other downside is that the inflated length is not as advertised on the manufacturer’s site.
And the brand name is obscure, to say the least, so best keep that in mind when making that purchase decision.
2. Outdoorsman Lab Camping Sleeping Pad
If you are on a tight student budget, or simply trying things out and do not want to go about spending a fortune on a sleeping pad, this camping sleeping pad from Outdoorsman is the one for you! This is easily the highest rated out of our recommendations, you cannot go wrong with this one.
When we say this thing is comfortable, we really mean that it is comfortable. This is one of the only ones on which you can actually sleep on your side, without having your arms dig in and hit the solid ground underneath. We would say that the claimed R-value of 1.3 is fairly realistic. It is warm, but nothing too exceptional.
The seal does its work quite well. We noticed later on that it was actually double sealed (once again from the inside), and the inner flap helps keep the air in. This makes it very easy to blow in air, without having it escape before we could get another breath in.
Moreover, the deflating process is quite straightforward and easy, as well. In case you have trouble putting it back into its original carrying pouch, we recommend that you roll it up to get the air out, unroll it. Fold it into halves, twice, and then roll it. Now you can easily fit it into the carrying pouch.
It saw a fair bit of testing on our part. We used it bare on gravel, on the sand, on the back of a wagon. And we used it both with and without a sleeping bag, in jeans and shorts. Slept on our backs and sides, sat on it, and in the process, dug in our elbows and knees a number of times. It has held up very well.
3. Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Ultralight Foam Backpacking Mattress
The second highest-rated out of our recommendations lineup, the Z Lite Sol from Therm-a-Rest packs quite the punch. It is relatively lightweight, takes no time at all to serve its purpose and extremely comfortable when in use.
And the key difference between this and the ones we have reviewed above is that we do not have to blow this one up. It is made out of foam and therefore has its own structure. Thus you do not have to put in the effort of blowing it up and getting it ready after a long day of hiking. Simply unfold, and you are ready to go!
Also, the ease of use does not stop there. Simply wake up, fold and stash into your bag after a good night’s sleep, and you are all set for a long day of trekking. The process is much less arduous than having to try to deflate and prep a traditional blow-up sleeping pad for trekking.
We recommend getting the normal-sized one for trekking. The small one will not fit anyone bigger than a 10-12-year-old, and if they happen to be a little taller, they will have their legs sticking out, though you could probably always stick some clothes under your legs while sleeping.
Sure other pads might be bigger and more comfortable (especially those fancy nano air mattresses), but those retail upwards of $400. And considering that it is lightweight, fairly comfy, and easy to manage, this is quite the steal for something that costs below the $50 mark.
If you are just getting into camping, or really just want something that you can easily pack-unpack and use, we highly recommend this one. Simply stash this into a corner of your overnighter and forget!
4. KLYMIT Static V2 Sleeping Pad
An ultralight and ultra affordable offering from Klymit, do not be fooled by its price tag. This sleeping bag does not forego any of the features of other pads priced twice and over of what this retails for. It takes only 10-12 breaths of air to fill it up completely, just as advertised.
The V-pads really seem to be doing their job, help maintains cushioning where we need it and making sure that our body does not hit the ground at any point. And the side rails really did help in keeping our bodies confined to the area of the pad. Not once did we have this slip out from under us.
Now, this also compresses down to a very manageable size. You can repack it into the included bag. This is also light enough to be stowed into an overnighter or a duffel.
For newcomers, it will take some time to get used to the air gauge and learn how to use it properly. Not the best bit in the world, we reckon this could use some improvement.
There is not a double-seal feature. Therefore, as you approach the last few breaths, some of the air gets pushed out as there is a buildup of pressure. But the most important bit of all, this pad held up quite well without any leaks.
5. Therm-a-Rest NeoAirXlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
Weighing in at just 12 ounces, the Xlite Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress from Therm-a-rest is a steal if you want to go camping on a chilly night and do not want the cold creeping up to you from the ground as you sleep. Moreover, you can simply pack it up the next morning into a package the size of a water bottle.
We were shocked to find ourselves falling asleep immediately after hitting the deck with this one. It is very warm and comfortable. You’ll have a night of very deep sleep with no tossing about, and no sore pressure points the morning after.
People often complain to us about crinkling. You know that noise you get from rubbing the cloth on cloth? It keeps you up if you have a buddy that tosses and turns in his sleep. We had absolutely none of that with this one.
Something that we need to keep in mind, though, is that your weight, regardless of your body type, will most definitely displace some of the air into other sections of the mattress. Even more so if you are on the heavy side. You may want a towel or a blanket to help negate the effect of that displacement.
It certainly commands a higher price tag than the products we have discussed thus far in our recommended list. But it is worth it. If you skipped out on the great outdoors because of the lack of comfort and warmth during sleeping, we definitely recommend this offering from Therm-a-Rest is for you.
6. ECOTEK Outdoors Insulated Hybern8 4 Season Ultralight Inflatable Sleeping Pad
With an impressive R-value of 4.5, the Hybern8 from ECOTEK is an exemplary balance of comfort, price, and weight. Most of the insulated pads in this segment do not offer the same level of versatility like this, that too, at a fraction of the price.
It gets so warm in fact that you immediately notice if your arms or legs stray away from the pad in the middle of the night. We cannot emphasize how comfortable and quiet (courtesy of the layer of insulation) this is. It is curled slightly around the edges.
This is very nice because of this made us very snug and secure, as if we were in a den, or back home surround in a cocoon made of our quilt.
Size-wise, we fit quite well, and we are fairly tall. We managed to fit with plenty of room to spare and figure it would be fine for larger people as well. And we lay on our sides and rolled around quite a bit, but we were never lacking for room or comfort.
Moreover, it is quite effortless to inflate and deflate and equally easy to roll it into a pack and stuff it away. Fully packed, it is sized like a small watermelon. Neat!
We really appreciate that the manufacturer included a sack that is a little bigger than it is required to be. That makes stowing away this pad after a night’s sleep easy, rather than being forced to spend a good chunk of the morning trying to squeeze it into a smaller sack or a carry-on.
7. Therm-a-Rest NeoAirXTherm Ultralight Backpacking Air Mattress
Another great offering from Therm-a-Rest, the NeoAirXTherm offers all the best features of the NeoAirXTherm but with the added feature of proper insulation! Sure this is much expensive than what we have seen so far, but trust us when we say this, you get what you pay for and much much more.
The difference between this and the others is just staggering. This is one of the only mattresses in our list that will keep you off the ground completely, without any sagging or bowing whatsoever. We noticed no deflation or air shift in high-pressure areas during our period of use.
Like, it is almost impossible to explain how impressive this is unless you were to buy one and see for yourselves. We stood (with some impressive balancing skills) smack dab in the middle of the mat with both our feet and managed not to touch the ground at all.
Granted, you probably would end up touching the ground if you were to put all your weight on one foot. But that is putting the entire mass of your body across an area that is less than 8 inches across. The pad retains its uniformity throughout, so we would not stray from calling it the best camping mattress for bad back.
For us, the regular size fit perfectly, but we recommend the large size if you are on the heftier side, or simply perform gymnastics in your sleep. The mattress is nicely tapered around the edges, making for a snug and comfortable experience.
Ah, yes. Let us talk about the insulation bit. This mattress is warm. Very warm. There is simply no other mattress like this, boasting an impressive R-value of 5.7 and being lightweight for good measure, one of the reasons why this pad costs so much.
Sure, it takes a lot longer to inflate this (about 2 minutes or so), but for us, it is all worth it. We would go so far and say we would happily sell off our bed and sleep in this instead. It is simply worth every penny.
8. Big Agnes Q Core SLX Ultralight Sleeping Pad
The extra thickness and width offered by the Q Core SLX from Big Agnes are definitely noticeable when you are out camping in harsh terrain. Add to that, it is insulated down to 15 degrees, which is a commendable all-round offering. And the top surface is quilted.
Though we cannot say what it does for insulation, we can say that it definitely does something for comfort. This sleeping pad is very comfortable, and the outer chambers are made larger so that you can be comfortably cradled in the center. And the sleeping pad is durable, to say the least.
Moreover, the manufacturers claim the use of nylon rip-stop fabrics, but we cannot say for certain how the unit would fare the test of time.
One thing that we can say right now, however, is that the pad makes a lot of noise. You know that crinkling noise you get, from rubbing a cloth on cloth. Yeah, this makes a lot of it. Since we are slightly aversive (one of our editors, anyways) to such noise, we are going to have to dock a point for this.
Also, the high volume valve is a very nice inclusion. It makes blowing up the mattress a breeze (no puns intended). They also included a nifty repair kit in the package.
And the extra thickness (about 3.5 inches) is an absolute godsend when we compare it against the competition. This basically guarantees you will not be waking up in the middle of the night after hitting the solid ground below or suffer some hip or back pain the morning after.
9. Nemo Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad
Insulated? Yes. Lightweight? Double yes. The Tensor Ultralight Sleeping Pad from Nemo ticks all the right boxes. However, does it square up to the heavy hitters in this price range? Let us find out.
We used this sleeping pad on gravel, pine leaves, pumice, and it held up pretty great. And we did not see any leaks whatsoever. Definitely not a long term usage review, but we can say it certainly held up to a few nights of use in rough terrain. We measured the weight to just under 15 ounces.
It is very lightweight for an insulated sleeping bag, especially one rated to handle up to 20 degrees. And it rolls up nice and compact, so you can easily toss it in the included carrying bag or simply wedge it amongst your gear without too much trouble.
The deflation process can be summed up in one word: outstanding. Usually, for an inflating bag like this, you have to roll and unroll it a few times to let all the air out. Not with this one. They include a valve. Simply undo it, fold it to a third and roll. You are bound to get all the air out in the first try. Brilliant!
Also, the pad is relatively quiet and not all that slippery. The surface feels like plastic and is, therefore, a little squeaky, but it is comfortable enough. You cannot expect perfection in all aspects, especially in an ultralight sleeping pad.
Moreover, it does not, however, make that sound you get when you crush up a potato chip packet, unlike other lightweight sleeping pads. This still does not justify its premium price tag when comparing it to the other options available in the market.
10. Sea to Summit Ultralight Insulated Mat Sleeping Pad with Inflation Pump Sack
If you are a side sleeper and a tosser-turner, then this one from Sea to Summit will certainly live up to your demands! Slightly heavier than something like a Prolite (about 50 grams give or take), you get insulation and comfort in that very convenient trade-off.
For the price, you get a very warm and comfortable sleeping pad. Our testing revealed that it does not crinkle when you move around. Though we still recommend placing it on a towel or clothing if you are planning to use it at home on wooden floors.
The sleeping pad comes with a very modest R-value of 2.5. This is certainly not going to win it any awards, but for an ultralight mat, you cannot expect full-blown thermal insulation features. The dual valve feature means that you can easily blow it up without having air escape in the process.
To deflate, simply pull on the outer ring until it starts to deflate. Fold it a third of the way and roll it to let out the remaining air. You can also adjust the pressure to your needs using this multifunction valve. They include a nifty storage bag and a 3M repair kit.
Moreover, the storage bag is perfect, in our opinion. It has just enough slop that you do not have to make the absolute perfect roll to slide the sleeping pad in, yet it is not so big and roomy that it becomes a waste of space or simply adds unnecessary weight.
Furthermore, the material is easy to clean and does not seem to attract any dust or debris. In addition, the 3M kit can be put to good use if you plan on long treks with this one.
Buyer’s Guide of Best Camping Mattress for Bad Back
If you are into the inflatable designs, this post will be a great help to you. We highlight the smart tips that you should pay attention to when buying your Camping Mattress for back problems and has given you the top three picks to go with.
Has the Right Mattress Capacity
You won’t go camping alone; especially if you intend to have a fun-filled camping event. Depending on who will be joining you, having a mattress that can easily carry your weights will be awesome!
Many camping air mattresses are designed to carry not less than 300 pounds of weight. It will be super cool if you took your time to find one that will not crack under your weight. A good example is a 600-pound mattress.
Gives You the Ultimate Comfort Too
Even more, important is the level of comfort. Remember, you have taken a break from all stiff office chair or a busy schedule at home. A little comfort won’t be overrated. To get the most comfortable camping bed mattress, a fluffy, soft flocked, or heavy topped mattress would be super ideal too.
Make sure that you are indeed comfortable. Possibly read some of the feedback from previous buyers. This will be a good way to understand how comfortable your mattress is and whether you can depend on it too.
Comes with Heavy Duty Construction
This one applies to both foam and air mattresses for back pain. Generally, heavy-duty construction has two main advantages.
First, the mattress will prove quite durable. It will easily withstand the harsh environments that many camping sites are and more importantly withstand the rigorous ride that you might choose to take it.
Again it will feel more compact when you sleep on it, keeping your back straight, strong, and virtually super relaxed. Such mattresses have some of the very top therapeutic features for a bad back.
Has the Built-In Pumps
The reason you need an inbuilt air pump for your camping air mattress.
This mechanism makes it pretty easy to inflate and deflate your air mattress. It is also very dependable in areas with no power as most of the pumps come with rechargeable battery systems.
At the end of the day, you can still enjoy a good night’s sleep even if you were faced with some of the most unfavorable circumstances such as power outage. Hand-operated pumps are usually tedious and will take time before blowing up your mattress to capacity.
Other good pumps include inbuilt two-way pumps: never flat pump systems and 1 click pumping systems.
Is Extremely Easy and Portable
If you have camped before, you must know how exhausting camping can get. You don’t want to add more weight to your bad back.
Having an easy to carry mattress would be an awesome idea. It will prevent your back from straining a lot and also make sure that you find it really easy having your accessories ferried from one place to the next always.
Many super cool camping mattresses will come with carrier bags for moving it easily. A good example is the duffel bag that many manufacturers today have resorted to producing for an added convenience.
Gets a Water Proof Technology
The part of the factors that we have seen, it isn’t new that sometimes bad weather can mess up camping sites.
Leaky tent floors will easily allow water to sip in and soak up your camping accessories. But what would be worse than having to sleep on a wet mattress? A camping mattress should come fully equipped with waterproof qualities.
A waterproof flocked top will not only double up as a super cool place to lie on. It will also be comfortable and more so quite appealing.
Stable Construction Coil Design
Finally, because your back can’t handle a rough mattress, you need a mattress that will easily spread your weight evenly.
An air mattress for camping would suit a bad back if it had the coil system. Such systems will allow the mattress to evenly spread your weight around and eventually prevent the mattress from sinking in.
With such a stable fill and a straight-up design, your back will not only be comfortable but also enjoy a good resting place.
There are also many other additional tips that will be of help. Looking at the top-rated air mattress for bad back reviews, user feedback, top brands, pricing, and maintenance costs would be the perfect way to beef up your choice of the most dependable mattress in case you are experiencing back problems too.
Just make sure you understand your overall health needs and possibly the number of people who you will tag along for the camping adventure too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use the air mattress immediately after the first inflation?
It is better to rest the mattress for at least 24 hours once you inflate it for the first time. This would let the mattress attain its full form and shape.
Do internal support mechanisms such as air beams or coils make a difference?
Yes. These supportive structures will give strength to the mattress and helps in distributing the bodyweight evenly. It also prevents the bowing of the bed while you sleep.
What is the ideal firmness for an air mattress?
There is no hard-fast rule that can relate the comfort level to the firmness. It all depends on personal experience. But it is suggested that 97-98% firmness is suitable if you are suffering from back pain.
How long does it take to inflate the mattress?
It depends on the various parameters — the size of the mattress, power of the pump, and also the manufacturer. The manufacturer will give the inflation time and instructions, but it is suggested to buy a mattress that has an auto switch-off mechanism.
These automatic modes will switch off the pump once the mattress is fully inflated or deflated.
Will the air mattress deflate overnight?
An ideal mattress should not deflate overnight. If your mattress is continuously deflating, use the warranty form and get it replaced.
Getting the best camping air mattress for the back problems is the right way to keep your back safe and free from any additional stress. More importantly, it will help you to enjoy a good night sleep and an exceptional outdoor experience.